By Santosh Bhartiya
A fantastic trick has been played on the country. Before the Lok Sabha elections L.K. Advani and Baba Ramdev and during the run-up to the elections BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had asserted that if all the black money stashed in foreign banks were brought back to the country, every account will get richer by Rs. 15 to 20 lakh, and then there would be no need to charge taxes. During the Lok Sabha elections Narendra Modi had promised Achhe Din. He took firm resolved during his numerous election rallies that he would bring black money from foreign banks and credit Rs. 15 to 20 in the accounts of every citizen. He blasted the then Congress government for its lackadaisical approach of not doing much in that regard, saying the party’s indifference is due to the fact that the black money deposited in banks abroad belongs to close relatives and associates of the Congress functionaries.
However, the unwary public believed him in letter and spirit; they saw a messiah in him. They refuse to accept that the promises he was making were empty election promises and allurements in order to garner their votes. But the BJP chief Amit Shah took the wind out of their sails. When after the government formation people started reminding the new dispensation of promised Rs. 15 to 20 lakh bank deposits, Amit Shah for the first time admitted that it was a “chunavi jumala” (election allurement). It also means that whether the promises made during electioneering will ever be met no one can guarantee and they well may prove a bundle of lies. Anyway, after the bank promise of bank deposits, more than 50 promises were made one after another, and a new roadmap for the country was propounded.
Be that as it may, on 8 November 2016, two and half years after assuming power, the prime minister declared a war on black money. He declared that the currency notes of five hundred and one thousand are banned, ostensibly to neutralize then and there the black money and the money used for fomenting terrorism. He announced, “We’ll bring new currency. Those who want to exchange their old currency may do so within three months”. And then began a period of uncertainty and chaos reign supreme – government altered rules day in and day out. For the people who queued up to exchange their own money, it was said, “Look, those who have black money are standing in the queues.” Every citizen of a country of 1.25 crore became a virtual thief. Anyone who went to bank to even to exchange rupees ten thousand had to face the query of bank staff as to where he/she got the money from. The plight of one with say Rs. five lakh can easily be imagined; as he has to make strategy to deposit his hard-earn money in piecemeal – in 20-20 thousand to 5-5 thousand batches. Withdrawing money was out of question as government had imposed restriction.
First they fixed the maximum limits of withdrawal to four thousand, then two thousand, then twenty-four thousand, and finally 49 thousand: One could not withdraw his hard-earned money, the money saved by generation for the time of need. The government has virtually confiscated people’s money. Now, one has to tell the government that to whom the withdrawn money he has given. An impression was created that if we failed to provide information to the government our money could be confiscated. The people of this country for the last 70 years used to invest in land or houses, because they thought that their investment was safe there. It was also because banks were involved in scams, they have siphoned off money out the country. The banks have taken out government bonds and the financial institutions have initiated market-based investment process and eat up the money of millions of people. A lot of people in our country fall victim of market-based economy, many of them have committed suicide. The same was the reason for farmers’ committing suicide, which according to a few ministers in current government has “become a fashion”.
Now it is beyond me to comprehend that what happened to the promises of bringing our black money stashed in banks abroad, which is out of common parlance now a days. Instead we compel the poor and middle class people to deposit their money that they have kept for time of needs like illness and other troubles. Needless to say, even the poorest of the poor mange to keep a few thousand rupees for emergency. Now by declaring that black money, an environment is being created to inform us that we all are thieves. Anyone who ventured out to deposit his money in the bank became dubious in the eyes of onlookers: “Oho! He has got stolen money.” They in fact have become cover for those who run the racket of black money and who have got accounts in foreign banks.
Now the government has announced that all the black money is back into the system; in another words there is no black money anywhere in the country. We should believe the government. But a lot of people have been apprehended with new notes amounting five to fifty lakh in their vehicles. Even today, some sporadic reports bob up on television that such and such amount of new notes have been seized. These things are downplayed by saying that there are some black sheep in banking system who are handing new notes to the vested interests. On our investigation we were told that whatever money comes to the banks is coming under the aegis of the Reserve Bank of India.
Smaller banks were supplied with rupees 2 to 10 lakh while the larger banks Rs 20 lakh. When these notes were being supplied, we witnessed long queues in front of banks. People were getting new notes, but which banks have given new notes of the value of Rs. 5 lakh to 50 crores to these people. Bank officials said the notes did not emanate from their banks. It means these notes had either come out directly from the mints or from the Reserve Bank of India, not from ordinary branches of banks. Then it is a very pertinent question as to where the confiscated notes coming from?
The second pertinent question as to why all the people caught with new currency notes belong to a particular political party? It is incomprehensible for the people as to why people caught with the notes are directly related to a particular political party. They were caught because the investigative agencies at lower level were unaware of the fact that they should not be apprehending these people. The third question, a particular political party organised rallies spending 5 to 20 crore rupees, where does that money come from? The buses which brought people to the rallies were paid in new currency. Tent house owners and loudspeaker walas were all paid, even TV channels were paid, where in world that money come from? I do not think we’ll ever be able to get answer to these questions. It is an open secret that no one will dare divulge. Whoever will ask these questions will be declared anti-national or a traitor. Today an atmosphere has been created wherein if you speak against the Government you are a traitor, because the government has taken resolve to transfigure the country.
We, as a child, had stolen money from the pockets of our family members to buy kites, now we are told since we stole money therefore we have no moral authority to question the theft of millions of rupees. There is on moral ground there is difference between your theft and our theft, the only difference is of quantity. You stole four ana, we four lakh crore, what difference does it make? The hired people of that particular political party are disseminating this argument through social media in order to create confusion. They are bombarding with bundles of lies round the clock.
Now here arises another question. The country nowadays has plunged into weird state. The people of Kashmir, whose population is between 60 and 80 lakh, have completely transformed into anti-national. It has been fed to the country that they all are pro-Pakistan, no matter how much they shout that they are not with Pakistan. They are demanding their rights and respect with government of India, just as people in Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab or Bengal are demanding. An atmosphere has been created in the country wherein demands made by the people other than Jammu and Kashmir are commonplace, while the demand made by the people of Kashmir is directly linked with Pakistan.
If on the one hand the people of Kashmir have become anti-national, the large number of people all over the country – you may count them between 100 and 120 crore – have also become thieves on the other, and they go the banks stealthily. They are seen as thieves when the stand in queues or went to bank to withdraw or deposit money. Then who are the honest? Just a few. Why? Because they are in power and they have successfully created the atmosphere of making the whole country thieves. They believe whatever they say is correct. The new values that are being inculcated in democracy today are so dangerous that they had put in the opposition in the state of shock. A leader of the opposition is not in a position to question because of the apprehension that he/she might be declare an anti-national or an obstacles in the progress of the country.
Now those few people who though in whisper are raising right questions should be prepared for the next round of assault. It seems that such atmosphere has been created to ruin the thousands of years of traditions of the country, the tradition to live with pride, humanity, brotherhood, fraternity, respect for all religions, and equal right to everyone. Today all these values are under attack and new values are introduced slowly but surely and the country is letting it be as a mute spectator. Nobody questions exponential growth in corruption and unemployment. No one asks about jobs, education, and health services and why the train of development been derailed? Everyone is awestruck and just watching what is going on.
Democracy in such a state is a lesson to L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee; it is a lesson for everyone in the country. Only thing that is to see is whether or not the lesson has got down to their throat.
By Santosh Bhartiya